Switching to code orange is 'the only relevant decision,' says Vandenbroucke

Switching to code orange is 'the only relevant decision,' says Vandenbroucke
Credit: Belga

The Consultative Committee will be able to decide about relaxing the coronavirus measures "with reasonably solid ground under its feet," said Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

The Committee will meet on Friday from 14:00 to analyse the current situation and possibly decide to switch to 'code orange' on the country's coronavirus barometer, Vandenbroucke said in the Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

"The infections are over the peak, the hypothesis is that the hospitalisations and the ICU occupancy will decrease," he said. "That will probably allow us to look ahead to what is to come with reasonably solid ground under our feet on Friday."

"The only relevant decision that can be made is to go from code red to orange," Vandenbroucke added. In practice, code orange means a number of restrictions can be relaxed: nightlife can reopen, no closing time for the hospitality industry and larger audiences at public events.

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The colour code Belgium is in is decided based on the number of hospitalisations and occupied ICU beds. Currently, Belgium is still in code red, but due to the rapid drop in infections and the possible plateau in hospital admissions, a switch to code orange is expected.

The conditions for the barometer to switch to code orange are that the number of new hospital admissions drops below 150 per day, and that fewer than 500 patients are admitted to ICU.

Currently, 343 daily hospitalisations are still registered per day, but the trend has started decreasing. Meanwhile, the other condition is met, as fewer than 500 patients (442) are currently admitted to hospitals’ intensive care units.

An in-depth overview of the different phases of the coronavirus barometer and what they mean can be found here.

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